Updated on 09/17/2011 10:45AM

Private City joins derby fray


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - A surprise entry and a defection kept the field for Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Ohio Derby at seven Wednesday when post positions were drawn.

Private City, owned by the Bohemia Stable and trained by Allen Jerkens, was not expected for the 1 1/8-mile race but his entry was gladly accepted by director of racing Bill Couch. El Ruller, who has been stakes placed at Woodbine in his last two starts, was expected for the race but was not entered.

Private City will be the only horse in the field with a win at the Ohio Derby distance. He won a nonwinners-of-three allowance race at 1 1/8 miles at Belmont Park May 30. Private City drew the rail and will be ridden by Jean-Luc Samyn at 112 pounds.

Wild and Wicked and Midway Road are expected to vie for favoritism in the Ohio Derby.

Wild and Wicked, undefeated in two starts, both in Kentucky, has been installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite and will break from post 6. Trained by Ken McPeek, Wild and Wicked most recently won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs in front-running style by 2 3/4 lengths. He could prove to be the controlling speed in this race. Under the allowance conditions of the Ohio Derby he is weighted at 112. Shane Sellers will ride.

Midway Road, trained by Neil Howard, finished second to Funny Cide in the Preakness in his last start and is 8-5 on the morning line. Midway Road hasn't shown the early speed of Wild and Wicked and is expected to be doing his best running in the stretch. He is weighted at 112 and will have Robby Albarado in the saddle.

Crowned King will carry high weight of 121 pounds and spot his opponents from 9 to 14 pounds. He won the $200,000 USA Stakes on the Lone Star Park grass in his last start. Earlier this spring he won the 1 1/16-mile Rebel at Oaklawn Park. Chandra Rennie will break Crowned King from post 4 for trainer Billy McKeever Jr.

The other entrants in the race are On the Border for trainer Steve Asmussen; Ohio-bred Hackendiffy, who is trained by Bernie Flint; and Miss Karry Thenews, the lone filly in the field, who is trained by Kathy Price.

Hackendiffy, a half-brother to multiple stakes winner USS Tinosa, has won five Ohio-bred stakes races and may race closest to Wild and Wicked early. Top local rider Mike Rowland will be aboard.